Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is a famous Scottish and Irish surname. It originates from the ancient Gaelic 'Mac-an-sporain', translating loosely as 'The son of The purse'. The first name holder (as shown below) being the keeper of the royal purse as the treasurer to King Malcom 11nd of Scotland. This status seems to be confirmed by original recordings relating to both royal and clan history. The name has developed many spelling forms over the ten centuries since its inception. Although in the 16th century all commenced with 'Mac,' over the years this has invariably been foreshortened to McSpirron, McSporon, McSporran, McSperrin, McSporrin, McSparan, McSparran, the latter two being the usual Irish forms. The clan has been recorded in Ireland since the 16th century, but may have been there much longer. By tradition they are a branch of the MacDonalds of the Isles, and hereditary purse bearers to the clan. It is recorded that the tomb on the isle of Iona contain the bodies of Gilbrid and Paul Sporran, from the (quote) 'antient tribes of the Mack Donalds'. Examples of the early name recordings include those of Duncan M'Sparren who was one of M'Nachtanes soldiers who joined the Scottish Regiment of the king of France in 1627, and Donald M'Sporran of Auchnagairoch, parish of Knapdail in 1677. The clan were prominent in the 1745 invasion of Bonnie Prince Charlie, so much so that nameholders were 'forced' into taking the anglicized form of 'Pursell'. Clearly the enforcement did not work, but it may account for the growth in the wide variety of the name spellings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Paul na Sporan. This was dated 1015 a.d., during the reign of King Malcom 11 of Scotland, 1005 to 1034 a.d. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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